Coastal Trail to West Ridgecrest Blvd, Mt Tamalpais State Park - Pantoll Ranger Station, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Coastal Trail to West Ridgecrest Blvd - 8.2 miles
Mt Tamalpais State Park - Pantoll Ranger Station
|Round-Trip Length:||8.2 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||1,490' - 1,723' (1,815' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+233' net elevation gain (+845' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Coastal Trail to West Ridgecrest Blvd - 8.2 Miles Round-Trip
The Coastal Trail is Marin County's longest maintained trail, stretching 17 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge to Fairfax-Bolinas Road. It's part of the greater Bay Area Ridge Trail system, a 310+ mile route that runs through all nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The 4.1 mile segment from Mt Tamalpais' Pantoll Ranger Station to West Ridgecrest Blvd features panoramic ocean views and miles of open coastal hills. Runners, especially, will enjoy the Coastal Trail's smooth singletrack and mild grades.
This section of the Coastal Trail begins at the Matt Davis Trailhead - just across Panoramic HWY from the Pantoll Ranger Station - and shares the first 1.5 miles with the Matt Davis Trail until branching north along Bolinas Ridge:
The Matt Davis Trail climbs a small ridge and levels into a thick Douglas fir forest (.2 miles). It winds to a bridge over a steep ravine (.55 miles : 1,518') and emerges in open space on high coastal hills (1.05 miles : 1,570'). Social trails branch off to various view points, but they're easy to discern from the main.
The trail curls inward twice across the densely wooded corridors of Webb Creek and Silva Gulch to the Matt Davis - Coastal Trail split (1.5 miles : 1,478'). The Coastal Trail splits right, rises and moderates on neat singletrack along the hills' upper contours.
It edges northwest up to Willow Camp Fire Road (3.15 miles : 1,812'), drops and rises back across high open slopes. Be mindful of rattlesnakes in this area, especially along rocky outcrops.
The Coastal Trail crosses the top of several ravines leading up to West Ridgecrest Blvd (4.1 miles : 1,723'), a postcard-like road that will compel any multi-sport athlete to return here with a bike.
To continue on the Coastal Trail, walk 125 yards north on the road to McKennan Gulch Trailhead. Though not immediately visible from the trailhead, the Coastal Trail can be seen from a distance heading north and will be easy to find.
- N37 54.234 W122 36.263 — 0.0 miles : Pantoll Ranger Station - Matt Davis Trailhead
- N37 54.337 W122 36.744 — .55 miles : Cross bridge in forest
- N37 54.192 W122 36.994 — 1.05 miles : Emerge from forest in open coastal hills
- N37 54.217 W122 37.246 — 1.5 miles : Matt Davis Trail - Coastal Trail split
- N37 54.483 W122 37.486 — 2.0 mile mark
- N37 54.804 W122 37.648 — 2.5 mile mark
- N37 55.033 W122 37.856 — 3.1 miles : Willow Camp Fire Road junction
- N37 55.138 W122 38.000 — 3.55 miles : Cross bridge over ravine
- N37 55.476 W122 38.335 — 4.1 miles : Coastal Trail - West Ridgecrest Blvd
- Get an early start to secure parking, avoid crowds, and enjoy advantageous morning light.
- Save this trail for a clear day. April and May visitors can expect deep green grasses and wildflowers, while autumn travelers will enjoy crisp blue skies and shimmering gold hillsides.
- Be mindful of rattlesnakes - especially near sun-exposed rocky outcrops - and never place your hands or feet where you cannot see them.
- This section of the Coastal Trail is dedicated to Bob Cook, who as an Eagle Scout led a 2 year volunteer effort to see its completion.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Backcountry camping is not permitted within Mt Tamalpais State Park.
- The Pantoll Campground is located on Panoramic Highway adjacent to the Pantoll Ranger Station. It has 16 campsites, each with a table, rock barbecue, food locker and space for a tent. Phones, faucets, firewood and flush toilets are nearby. There are no showers. Sites are first-come, first-served.
Steep Ravine Environmental Campground
- The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground is located on a coastal terrace off Highway 1, one mile south of Stinson Beach. It has nine rustic cabins and seven primitive campsites. Each cabin has a wood stove, picnic table, benches, sleeping platforms and outdoor bbq.
- The cabins do not have running water or electricity. Primitive toilets, faucets, and firewood are nearby. Primitive campsites are located a few hundred yards from the parking area. Each site has a table, fire pit, food locker and space for a tent. Primitive toilets and water faucets are nearby. There are no showers at Steep Ravine Campground.
Alice Eastwood Group Camp
- Alice Eastwood Group Camp is located off Panoramic Highway on Alice Eastwood Road. It has two campsites. Site A holds up to 50 people; Site B holds up to 25 people. Both sites have tables, flush toilets, water faucets with sinks, bbq grills and a large area for tents.
Frank Valley Group Horse Camp
- Frank Valley Group Horse Camp is located 1.5 miles West of Muir Woods National Monument on Muir Woods Road. It has 12 pipe corrals, water faucets, watering troughs, picnic tables, fire rings and a pit toilet. The minimum group size is 2 horses; the maximum size is 12 horses.
- To reserve a campground visit www.reserveamerica.com or call 800.444.7275. For specific camping and campground questions, call Pantoll Ranger Station at 415.388.2070.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are not permitted on the Coastal Trail within Mt Tamalpais State Park boundaries.
- Bikes are not permitted on this segment of the Coastal Trail.
Directions to Trailhead
Mt Tamalpais State Park is located north of San Francisco in Marin County. The Pantoll Ranger Station is located 8.5 miles from Highway 101 on Panoramic Highway. The Matt Davis Trailhead is located in the free parking area on the north side of Panoramic Highway across from the ranger station.
From Highway 101, exit Stinson Beach - Highway 1 and follow the exit ramp west .6 miles to the Highway 1 - Almonte Blvd intersection. Turn left on Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach.
The road winds up the mountain to the Panoramic Highway split (3.2 miles) - veer right on Panoramic Highway (anticipate this quick turnoff). Remain on Panoramic Highway and follow signs for Mt Tamalpais State Park to the Pantoll Ranger Station (keep straight at the Muir Woods - Mill Valley fork at 4.0 miles).
The Pantoll Ranger Station is located on the left side of the road. Main lot parking carries an $8 fee. Free but limited parking is available across the street at the trailhead.
Mt Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941